Knicks' Jalen Brunson, Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton face off during WWE 'SmackDown' at MSG

Jalen Brunson and Tyrese Haliburton took their rivalry from the NBA court to the pro wrestling ring Friday night.

The two All-Star guards made appearances on WWE’s “SmackDown,” which took place at Madison Square Garden, home of Brunson’s New York Knicks. It’s also the place where Haliburton’s Indiana Pacers won Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals a few weeks ago, eliminating the Knicks from the playoffs.

That background was the perfect setup for a potential confrontation.

Before a match, United States champion Logan Paul — yes, that Logan Paul — introduced Haliburton, a well-known wrestling fan, to the crowd. Haliburton strutted down the aisle with Paul, embracing the chorus of boos and engaging in a short stare down with Brunson, who was seated at ringside.

Toward the end of the match, Paul asked Haliburton for a little assistance with the help of a pair of brass knuckles, a tactic Paul has used to win matches in the past.

That led to more jeers from the crowd — and Brunson jumping into the ringside area to prevent the interference, much to the delight of the MSG crowd, which showered him with “M-V-P!” chants.

Paul’s rival LA Knight ended up winning the match, but that didn’t stop Paul and Haliburton from threatening another attack. That is, until Brunson got involved again, this time with a steel chair.

No punches were thrown (would NBA commissioner Adam Silver even allow that?), and Paul and Haliburton slowly exited the ring as Knight and Brunson celebrated his win.

It’s not the first time WWE has leaned into NBA hatred. Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young made his own MSG appearance on “SmackDown” a couple years ago, months after after the Hawks beat the Knicks in the playoffs.

What a way to get ready for free agency.

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(Photo: David Dow / NBAE via Getty Images)

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